Although Risotto is traditionally known as an Italian dish, the French make some very flavoursome Risotto dishes which showcase their variety of mushrooms. They grow numerous varieties of mushrooms.
Button mushrooms are a specialty of the Loire Valley, where 50% of the country’s mushrooms are grown in underground galleries. Caves, where conditions for growing mushrooms are ideal. Some of these mushrooms are grown 50 metres underground, spread over 120 kms of galleries, and 7 floors, at a temperature of 13 degrees.
For this recipe I just used what was available in the local supermarket and the end result was still scrumptious. I used field mushrooms as well as the regular button mushrooms available on the day.
Seasonal fruits are used widely in French bakeries . Walnuts, along with apples and figs are often used in tarts and cakes because they grow throughout the French country side without too much care taken. Figs can grow between the cracks in pavements and from cracks in rock ledges ; the weather is just what the figs need to produce beautiful sweet fruit.
If you have ever looked at French lentils and wondered what to do with them, here is a recipe for a side dish which is flavoursome and light.
Fennel is a versatile vegetable used in many areas of cooking. Many famous French soups include fennel.
Here we have a crisp, colourful and flavoursome salad which is very inviting when you see it. The brightness of the pomegranate lights up this beautiful salad.
The ancient Romans used to chew fennel stalks believing that it would control obesity, but the modern day theory is that it is very good for heart health.
Here we have a French almond nougat which is a lighter and chewier type of nougat. Although it’s called an “almond” nougat, it is a classic recipe which can have extra fruit, peel or other nuts added to it for variety.
This nougat is a recipe from Provence where they use honey to give it perfection, rather than add liquid glucose.
In theory this looks like a fairly easy thing to make, but it is important to get your temperatures right. Because the chemistry in the heating of the sugar and honey is important, invest in a candy thermometer.